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British Government Criticized for Refusing to Ratify Genocide Pact

Sir Barnett Janner criticized in the House of Commons today the British Government’s decision against adhering to the International Genocide Convention which would outlaw mass murder like that committed by the Nazis against European Jewry during World War II.

He said that recent events in which people preached Nazism and praised “the arch-priest of Genocide, Hitler,” made it more imperative than ever that Britain should accede to the convention.

“We are looked upon by the rest of the world as leaders of moral and political principles,” he asserted, “What are the 65 nations who have accepted this pact, including members of our own Commonwealth, going to think? How can we expect them to regard us with other than disrespect?”

Replying for the Government, Peter Thomas, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, quoted from the statement in Commons last week by Lord Privy Seal Edward Heath, who made the announcement that Britain had decided not to adhere to the Convention. He repeated Heath’s argument that one effect of Britain’s approving the convention would be that the country would have to forego its traditional right to give political asylum to refugees in cases involving purely political offenses.

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